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BEST DAY TRIP Minneapolis 2000 -

This two-hour Sunday summer drive is scenic and peaceful, but rest assured, we've got a destination in mind. From St. Paul, take Highway 61 south through the woods and across the river to Prescott, Wisconsin. Then pick up Highway 35, known as the Great River Road, which will take you all the way to Pepin. The key to enjoying the day is taking it easy. So stop in the picturesque Swedish-settled town of Stockholm. Here you'll find several quaint antique stores, where conversations with the locals will eventually turn to Scandinavian lineage (always a favorite weekend topic). Back on the road, there's no need to speed--once you arrive in Pepin you're in for a wait. Because you're dining at the Harbor View Restaurant, and the Harbor View Restaurant doesn't take reservations. No matter--just cross the street and place pennies on the frequently traversed railroad tracks. (Repeat as necessary.) Your table's ready? Ah, now the fun begins. The chalkboard menu changes weekly (sometimes daily, depending on supply), but you're sure to be treated to something that has been deliciously prepared from the freshest ingredients, many of them locally grown. And they don't call it the Harbor View for nothing; the vista of Lake Pepin--actually just a broadening of the Mississippi--is memorable. After dessert (may we suggest the flourless chocolate torte?), of course, there's the drive back to the Twin Cities. But that stands to be even more pleasant than the drive down, now that you're restored, body and soul. (Note: The Harbor View is open for lunch and dinner, but it's closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and during part of the year, Mondays too. And don't bother whipping out your Visa--they don't take credit cards.)

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